Volunteers mentor inmates

Thursday, April 3rd 2008, 8:19 pm
By: News 9

By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

McLOUD, Okla. -- Pat Boatwright goes to jail every week.

Boatwright founded a group ten years ago that mentors incarcerated women in the Mabel Basset Correctional Center in McLoud.  The mission of the group is to bring friendship to others in God's name.

"Giving Incarcerated Females Trust and Support" began with seven mentors and a handful of inmates.

"We do a lot of laughing in here," Boatwright said. "We do a lot of talking, visiting. We don't' gossip. We learn to trust one another after a period of time."

Now, there's a waiting list of inmates who want to join 118 of their peers and 43 mentors.

Luwana Brown is in prison on a drug conviction.

"The mentor program I think it one of the best things that's ever happened in prisons because we have somebody out there," Brown said. "It's not like having somebody in here. It's having somebody come in here and see us from the outside."

Prisoners said the mentor program is helping prepare them for the day they're released.

Cory Carter is serving time for permitting child abuse.

"No one wants to come back," she said. "But without proper training, without the understanding of who we really are, we're going to come back - not because we're going to commit a crime, but because we don't know how to go back into society and survive."